Honduras Delivers Political Blow to Taiwan

Nation follows through on pledge to sever diplomatic ties
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2023 1:36 AM CDT
Updated Mar 26, 2023 7:50 AM CDT
This Move Leaves Taiwan With Diplomatic Ties to Just 13 Countries
Honduras President Xiomara Castro.   (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara, File)
UPDATE Mar 26, 2023 7:50 AM CDT

Honduras on Sunday cut diplomatic ties to Taiwan and established them with China instead, reports the AP. The move, signaled earlier this month, is a political blow to Taiwan, which now has formal ties to only 13 sovereign states. The "island’s diplomatic partners are now so few that any abandonment is a serious setback," per the New York Times. In a statement, the Honduran Foreign Ministry declared that “Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory, and as of today, the Honduran government has informed Taiwan of the severance of diplomatic relations." The statement added that Beijing “is the only legitimate government that represents all of China.”

Mar 16, 2023 1:36 AM CDT

In a move that will leave Taiwan with formal diplomatic ties with just 13 nations, Honduras has decided to switch things up. The president of the Central American country, Xiomara Castro, announced Tuesday that she has told her foreign minister to establish diplomatic relations with China, the Guardian reports. China does not allow countries to have official ties to both it and Taiwan amid the ongoing China-Taiwan dispute over Taiwan's sovereignty. Castro says the move is "a sign of my determination to [fulfill] the government plan and expand borders." Honduras' foreign minister tells the AP the move was necessary due to Honduras' economic ties to China.

Honduras has a lot of debt, he says, and "the idea is to look for mechanisms for greater investment [and] commerce." Taiwan, however, warned: "China’s only goal in developing relations with Honduras is to shrink our country’s international space, it has no sincere intentions to cooperate for the good of the Honduran people." As the AP explains, Honduras' move raises geopolitical concerns: It shows China's influence in Latin America is growing and, perhaps, America's is shrinking; the Biden administration had tried to convince countries in Latin America to maintain ties with Taiwan, but there are only a few left with diplomatic ties to Taiwan now. China has invested billions in Latin America, and recently announced it was helping to fund a hydroelectric dam project in Honduras.

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The remaining diplomatic ties Taiwan will have are with Eswatini, the Holy See, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Tuvalu, Belize, Guatemala, Haiti, Paraguay, the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (More Honduras stories.)

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